Novacyt up after government orders coronavirus tests in a £3.7m deal 


Biotech minnow Novacyt up 18% after government orders thousands of coronavirus tests in a £3.7m deal

Novacyt raced 18 per cent higher after Public Health England ordered thousands of its coronavirus tests in a £3.7million deal. 

The AIM-listed biotechnology group, which makes its tests in Southampton, was up 18.2 per cent, or 20.5p, to 133p, taking gains for the year to 923 per cent. 

The company is rapidly ramping up capacity to make more tests both in the UK and at a factory in mainland Europe. 

Biotech firm Novacyt, which makes its tests in Southampton, was up 18.2 per cent, or 20.5p, to 133p, taking gains for the year to 923 per cent

The £3.7million order came as the Government stepped up measures to manage the outbreak, including stopping ‘non-essential contact’ as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is approaching the ‘fast growth’ phase of the disease’s spread. 

Plans for mass testing have so far not been rolled out. The company has made two tests – a European Union-approved one that delivers a result in two hours and doesn’t need a doctor to oversee it, and another for research-only purposes. 

Public Health England has so far bought enough tests to stock eight hospitals for planned weeks of tests. 

Novacyt has enough raw materials to make 3.5m coronavirus tests and has appointed an unnamed third-party manufacturer on the Continent. 

The company was an early mover in developing a test and is now supplying more than 60 countries. 

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